John Clayton featured image background

John Clayton

Assistant Professor of Old Testament

Growing up as a missionary kid in France, Dr. John Nathan Clayton established a strong sense of calling from God early on, which led him to pursue a biblical teaching ministry. Dr. Clayton integrates his intercultural background and understanding of diverse ministry settings in both the United States and other countries into his classroom. “I bring, by God’s grace, a wide variety of ministry experiences and perspectives on Christian Ministry to my teaching of the Old Testament and of the Bible as a whole,” says Dr. Clayton.

Dr. Clayton appreciates the fellowship, support, and sense of Christ-centered community at North Park. He also values the diversity of students and encourages them to engage in conversation and learn from one another. Further implementing one of North Park’s core values, Dr. Clayton assigns a variety of intercultural readings. He also explains, “The biblical text itself is rich with a variety of cultural and linguistic expressions; this is a significant feature of the Word God has revealed to us.”

Passionate about enabling his students to refine their sense of calling to Christian ministry, Dr. Clayton aims to strengthen their abilities to effectively preach and teach Scripture. He also provides his students with the experiential opportunity to learn and visualize the original historical, cultural, and geographical contexts of the Old Testament through tours at the University of Chicago Oriental Institute Museum.

Favorite Quote

“We don’t to the work of ministry ourselves, the Holy Spirit does, through us.” —My father, John David Clayton

Favorite Spot in Chicago

Wrigley Field is a definite favorite spot. Every year my sons and I try to make it to a Cubs game or two—great father/son memories there.

Interests and Hobbies

I play piano, guitar, and bass, and serve in a variety of music and worship settings at my home church. I also enjoy playing jazz piano with a jazz group that occasionally plays gigs around Chicagoland.

Fun Fact

When I was growing up in France as a missionary kid, I regularly did outreach ministry sketches with a ventriloquist dummy named Alex in churches and at camps. A French-speaking ventriloquist!



Sign, Service and Song: The Levites of 1 Chronicles 10-29 in Rhetorical, Historical and Theological Perspectives. Eugene, OR: Pickwick, forthcoming.


“Divine Presence in the Levitical Psalms: Engaging Paradoxical Perceptions,” in The Psalms: Exploring Theological Themes. Edited by David M. Howard and Andrew J. Schmutzer. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, forthcoming.

“Towards a Renewed Appreciation of Joseph Bonsirven (1880-1958) and his Contributions to Early 20th Century Biblical Studies,” Trinity Journal, 29 NS (2008): 65-81.

“Bonsirven, Joseph,” in Historical Dictionary of Major Biblical Interpreters (ed. Donald M. McKim; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2007), 207-10.

“An Examination of Holy Space in Psalm 73: Is Wisdom’s Path Infused with an Eschatologically Oriented Hope?” Trinity Journal 27 NS (2006): 117-142.

“L’hospitalité d’Abraham en Genèse 18:1-15: Une expression pratique de la foi sous l’alliance.” La Revue Farel (2006): 1-16.


Response to K. Lawson Younger’s “Another Look at ‘Early’ Ideologies of the Land in the Hebrew Bible in Light of Recent Study.” Theological Symposium, North Park Theological Seminary, Fall 2019.

“Hopeful Historiography: An Exegetical Analysis of the Literary Frame of 1 Chronicles 22-29.” Tyndale House Old Testament Study Group: Annual Meeting, Cambridge University, UK: June 2019.

“Clivage Ethnique: Obstacles pour le Développement de la Société.” Université Protestante de l’Ubangi : Conférence Biblique, Gemena, DRC, May 2019.

“The Worship Function of the OT Levites.” North Park Theological Seminary: Faculty Presentation, Chicago, IL, February 2019.

Response to Brent Strawn’s “Participation with God (and/in Christ?): (Re-)Reading the Life of Moses with Some Help from Gregory of Nyssa.” Theological Symposium, North Park Theological Seminary, Fall 2017.

“Biblical Views of the Atonement.” Invited panelist for Q/A session/panel discussion at Christ Church Lake Forest with Walt Liefeld (professor emeritus, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) and Mike Woodruff (senior pastor). May 2010.

“Skill and Exultation in Worship: Reflections on the Narrative Function of the Levites in 1 Chronicles 10-29.” Evangelical Theological Society: National Conference, Providence, RI, November 2008.

“The Significance of David’s Expansion of the Levitical Priesthood: Revisiting the Contributions of 1 Chronicles 28:11-21.” Evangelical Theological Society: National Conference, Washington, D.C, November 15, 2006.

“Joseph Bonsirven’s Théologie du Nouveau Testament: Its Place in and Contribution to the Discipline of New Testament/Biblical Theology.” Evangelical Theological Society: Midwest Region, Kansas City, MO, March 18, 2005.

“An Examination of Holy Space in Psalm 73.” Evangelical Theological Society: National Meeting, San Antonio, TX, November 18, 2004.